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College Credit Now: Articles and Databases

Subject Specific Databases (a few examples)

When Should I Use a Database?

Since the basic library search includes articles in its results, you may be wondering why you would bother to search in a journal article database. There are several reasons for using an individual database:

  • Noise - Say you're looking for information on zombies (computers that distribute spam) and you find articles on the walking dead, philosophy, anthropology, and other subjects; using a database that specializes in computer literature lets you focus on your topic
  • Bells and Whistles - Some databases have specialized subject headings and powerful search features; most let you search within the full text of articles
  • Thoroughness - not all database articles are included in the library search, for technical reasons; Education Full Text and CINAHL (Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), some of LexisNexis Academic, and the databases on the Databases on the Web guide are not included in the Library Search 

Searching Databases

"""Just The Right Source"""

If you can find THE PERFECT SOURCE to cover your topic or answer your question, your research question may not be interesting enough. Don't think of research as trying to find one perfect source that already says exactly what you think. Your challenge as a researcher and a writer is to put ideas from different sources into contact with each other and create something new that adds to your understanding and to the scholarly conversation.   

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